Eco messages have undeniably been delivered everywhere in all types of mediums throughout 2020 and 2021.
Have those messages been the right ones to send? Or, have the real stories of greening up or greening out been overlooked?
Greening Up Public Relations
Joel Makower, executive editor of Greenbiz.com, has written a new book, Strategies for the Green Economy, Opportunities and Challenges in the New World of Business (McGraw Hill, 2021) and he mentions several times the roles that marketing and public relations play in the green economy.
Greening out is developing and producing new products that are eco-friendly. Greening up is greening existing products or procedures. Greening up can easily be applied to procedures used in public relations when reporting the eco happenings in a company or organization.
Makower has been researching and reporting on the green initiative for 20 years and has talked with the biggest names in business and industry as well as the small business owner that often times contributes as much or more to greening up or out.
His challenge to PR professionals is, “Will you steer your clients beyond short-term media hits to create longer-term value by counseling them to aim high, to make bold, even audacious commitments in order to stand out from the crowd?”
The real stories that would make the public relations efforts so much more effective are the stories and the messages that are currently overlooked.
Companies are looking for and finding innovative and effective ways to:
- Reuse raw materials such as the waste from manufacturing runs
- Reduce carbon footprints and the air and water pollutants they’ve used in the past, or the amount of materials used in packaging
- Recycle everything from paper products to oil
- Collaborate with like companies to find ways to help each other with their waste materials – one company’s waste can easily be another’s raw materials.
- Buy and use clean energy – so many smaller companies (along with their larger corporate brothers) are leading the way in finding clean energy resources and uses.
Those are the stories that need to make the global news.
Companies are desperately seeking usable and easily implemented green business models. Sharing green stories that can help build those models can make public relations a central and contributive entity in the green movement.
PR is not only about writing the words, PR is also about sharing images. Makower includes a chapter called “Polar Bears, Tree Frogs, and Blueberries” where he writes about using pictures to tell green stories.
He wrote, “There are now social scientists, market researchers, and focus groups standing by to parse the visual subtleties-the right tree, critter, or evocative scene-that will most effectively convey the message.”
PR and marketing have long used photographs to help tell company stories. PR can build the initiative to look for the green in every photo. Share the photos on web sites, in newsletters, in company reports, marketing materials, and presentations.
PR Green Challenge
Public relations professionals take a great deal of time and use their refined expertise in finding and reporting company news. Greening up and finding the real green factor when looking for the news should be easy to integrate into their PR routines.